ArenaNet has a lot of lore that they can pull from what it come to Guild Wars 2, ranging from the Skritt all the way to the Underworld. There are a lot of sources to find some information on these things within the game, but sometimes they give us some information in out of game sources like Facebook and their new Living World Atlas. I feel these strategies sorely break the immersion for the game and distracts players from the depth of the story they are trying to convey.
Currently, on the Guild Wars 2 Facebook page, there is a story going on from the perspective of one scholar who is accompanying a Lionguard Security Force to take back Lion’s Arch. The story is solely from the perspective of this NPC as she witnesses their battle day by day. It is a great piece of storytelling that truly hammers in the feel of desperation and loss that these characters are facing in the light of Scarlet’s attack. This is truly a treat to read and I cannot wait for the next story.
However, I don’t feel like it is doing justice on the Facebook page. Looking at one of these posts on their page only shows 312 people like the post, and their Flickr page shows 2,136 people have seen the post. It isn’t accurate to base the viewership purely off those numbers but I think it is safe to say that every active player is not seeing these awesome stories.
It is my belief that ArenaNet is missing a prime opportunity to tell an immersive story, and still keep it light in terms of game and developer involvement. We could, for instance, stumble upon a dead Aetherblade group and among the bodies we discover a piece of a Journal. As we continue on we discover more of these journal pages until we finally get the full story in a book. We’ve already seen instances of journals in the game via Scarlet’s so it would be great to just continue that on for us.
These journals will also be a great way to break the need for the Living World Atlas. The Atlas came out not too long ago that provided a means for players to catch up on past releases and see some hints as to what was coming next. The problem with the Atlas is that it didn’t provide enough information for each release, was in chaotic disarray that didn’t provide dates for when things happened and really tore away from that feeling of player involvement. It left a lot to be desired for a tool that could have been used as a recap for players and ultimately it once again tore players from the world of Tyria to find information outside of the game.
This is where we can make use of the journals and the community to a better degree. Allow players to store these journals they have found, and to keep a diary, in their home instance. Allowing themselves or newer players the opportunity to come back and see what had happened while still in the game. You never break immersion, you always get these great little stories and you have a cache that will explain the history of the world. Not even mentioning that this will give players the opportunity to share what they liked or disliked with those same players they invited into their decked out home instance.
I don’t want to be torn away from my game to peer through Facebook for a great story that has to do with the game. I don’t want to glance through an interactive map for a reminder of things I’ve missed. All I want is to stay immersed in the game you guys are trying hard to provide keep me immersed in.
Do you guys have a better way to provide the historical feature of the Atlas and the stories of the Facebook page? Do those features even interest you as a player? Let us know in the comment section below!